Ever since childhood, we’ve been given advice. However, there is one piece of advice that rings true, louder than all the others, and is ignored by business owners at their own peril.
Whether it is our parents, a teacher, a friend or a work colleague, there’s a natural tendency to want to impart what you know to others so they can perhaps use that information in their own lives.
And there are always lessons to be learnt. That’s what makes people good at their craft. Our ability to continue taking more information on board and applying it to new situations is essential for us to keep evolving in all aspects of our life.
But sometimes when we’re so busy juggling all the moving parts of our work and personal life, we need to be reminded about what is absolutely central to everything.
And that is human contact.
Because no matter what job we do, human contact is inevitable. It’s the basis on how we are ultimately judged by others, which is why there’s always plenty of advice given in this area.
Think about it:
You’re only as good as your last performance…
You reap what you sow…
Treat others how you would like to be treated…
I could go on, but you get the picture, right? This only reinforces the view that the key to real and lasting success — particularly in service industries — are relationship.
So with that in mind, I was recently invited as a guest to a digital conference in Sydney which involved a gathering of innovation and technology-based businesses. The conference was all geared around taking the next step in automating our lives and computers thinking for us, giving us what we want — before we know what we were going to think we needed.
There’s no doubt there are some staggering breakthroughs happening in this area. However, it struck me that the one thing they mostly missed in this picture were relationships and its importance in the decision-making process.
Sure, computers have a place, and technology enables better decisions and solutions as well as making it more convenient to make a decision — but what about relationships and human interaction? And above all, where does trust fit into the equation?
It got me thinking, are we really wedded to a future that looks more like Blade Runner and Terminator? Will we humans allow the machines to rise to such great strength, or will we revert to people and feelings, relationships?
For me, the answer is simple. It’s a blend of having the best of both worlds.
Because what you say and do, and how you do it, is central to your business. And it starts with those closest to you. Getting the best out of people begins with making them feel respected and valued. It starts with your own support team and extends to your clients.
Trusted quality relationships are the differentiator for brokers not only winning, but retaining business. The scene is set from that first call or contact and it grows from there, if there is authenticity behind what you do.
And this X factor is what defines your business, your income and your future. Because when it all comes down to it, the security of trail is based on relationship, not price.
You are only as good as your last performance. That is the most important determinant of job security. How we go about investing in relationships is what shapes our ability to retain clients and have clients refer us onto others.
So if we think about that, how can we measure the quality of our performance today? Was it worthy of a recommendation? And how will your last human contact affect you tomorrow?
We may be living in a fast-moving digital world, but when it comes to what is most important, relationships are still business 101.
Peter Andronicos is the CEO of boutique aggregator eChoice, having joined the group in 2009 as general manager. Prior to joining the company, Peter was CEO and co-founder of boomerang.com.au (OMG.com.au), one of the world’s largest generic industry domain name and publishing networks, which was subsequently acquired by Fairfax in 2011.